Myasthenia Gravisaccording to TCM

Symptom family: Autoimmune Disorders

What is Myasthenia Gravis?

Myasthenia gravis is a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disorder characterized by varying degrees of weakness of the voluntary muscles of the body. The hallmark of the disease is muscle fatigue that worsens after periods of activity and improves after periods of rest. This condition often affects muscles that control eye and eyelid movement, facial expression, and swallowing. Myasthenia gravis results from a breakdown in the normal communication between nerves and muscles, leading to significant impacts on daily living and potentially life-threatening complications in severe cases.

How Does TCM View Myasthenia Gravis?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) approaches myasthenia gravis from a holistic perspective, viewing it as a manifestation of underlying imbalances within the body's organ systems and vital substances. TCM practitioners see this condition as primarily stemming from deficiencies in Qi and Blood, leading to muscle weakness and fatigue. The emphasis is placed on identifying the specific patterns of disharmony—such as Qi Deficiency, Blood Deficiency, or Kidney Qi not being firm—that contribute to the symptoms. Understanding these patterns is crucial for crafting a treatment strategy aimed at restoring balance and strengthening the body's resilience.

Causes of Myasthenia Gravis According to TCM

In TCM, myasthenia gravis is believed to arise from a combination of internal Deficiencies and external invasions that disrupt the body's natural harmony. Several patterns often associated with this condition, such as Qi and Blood Deficiency, where there is not enough vital energy or nourishing blood to sustain normal muscle function, and Kidney Qi Deficiency, reflecting a deeper level of energetic weakness that affects the body's structural and functional integrity.

These Deficiencies can lead to the body's inability to resist external pathogenic factors, further exacerbating muscle weakness and fatigue. Addressing both the root causes and the symptoms is essential for effective treatment.

TCM Herbal Formulas for Myasthenia Gravis

To address the complexities of myasthenia gravis, TCM prescribes a variety of formulas aimed at tonifying Qi and Blood, securing Essence, and balancing internal disharmonies. Gui Pi Tang, enriched with Ginseng, is utilized to bolster Qi and nourish Blood, tackling Deficiencies that lead to overall weakness. Jin Suo Gu Jing Wan focuses on strengthening the Kidney Qi, crucial for maintaining the body's foundational energy.

For conditions marked by Wind-Cold invasion due to Yang Deficiency, Ma Huang Xi Xin Fu Zi Tang is recommended to expel the external pathogen and warm the Yang. Shao Yao Gan Cao Tang, featuring White Peony Roots, specifically targets Spleen and Liver Blood Deficiency, enriching the Blood to support muscle strength and function. These tailored treatments exemplify TCM's nuanced approach to managing myasthenia gravis, emphasizing restoration and harmonization of the body's vital energies.

Explore below some TCM herbal formulas used to address myasthenia gravis, organized by formula type.

  • By Formula Type
  • Formulas that tonify qi and blood
  • Formulas that secure essence and stop enuresis
  • Formulas that clear exterior disorders with interior deficiency
  • Formulas that tonify blood

TCM Herbs for Myasthenia Gravis

Explore below some TCM herbs used to address myasthenia gravis, organized by herb category.

  • By Herb Category
  • Tonic herbs for qi deficiency
  • Tonic herbs for yang deficiency
  • Warm/Acrid herbs that release the exterior
  • Tonic herbs for blood deficiency

"Tonic herbs for Qi Deficiency" recommended for myasthenia gravis

Herb Formulas they belong to (if applicable)
Ginseng (Ren Shen) Gui Pi Tang
Milkvetch Roots (Huang Qi) Gui Pi Tang
Atractylodes Rhizomes (Bai Zhu) Gui Pi Tang
Liquorice (Gan Cao) Gui Pi Tang